When you become a donor, you can be a deceased donor, by donating organs, tissues etc., after you pass away. Organs that can be donated after death include heart, eyes, lungs, liver, pancreas, kidneys and intestines. Recently face and hands are also being transplanted.
As a living donor you can donate the following organs, one kidney, one lung, one eye, part of the liver, intestine and pancreas. Though it can save the life of your loved one, a living donor has potential negative effects after donating.
Choosing to be a living donor or a deceased donor wholly depends on your choice.
As far as corneal transplant is concerned, there is no need for a matching recipient. Whatever be your blood type, age, your eyesight, eye color, it can be transplanted. Fatal diseases like HIV and hepatitis are the only exceptions.
Sclera, the white part of the eyes can also be donated.
Tissue donating includes, donating skin, heart valves, ligaments, bones, veins, connective tissue, tendons etc., These can be used to correct different defects and injuries. These donations can save or improve the recipient’s life. Donated tissues can also be processed and stored in tissue banks and used for a longer period of time.
Face and Hands
This complex procedure is called vascularized composite allograft (VCA) or reconstructive transplantation where the face and hands of the deceased person after their death, is used for the recipient. Through face transplant the receiver gets complex set of new tissues including hair and jaw bones, but the recipient won’t look like the donor.
As for the hands, though there are prosthetic devices, it doesn’t give the feel, temperature or motion, through a hand replantation the patient gets the hope of functional results.
Blood and Platelets
You can donate blood once in 56 days and platelets in 28days. The donated blood will be stored in the blood bank to be used either as a whole or can be used as red cells, plasmas and platelets separately, for different patients to save their life.
Organ failure occurs by birth or due to any disease. Through organ replantation, one can get the new functional organ to save their life. By your decision of being a donor can save up to 85 lives.
If you are interested in becoming a donor and want to know more information about the process, Gift of Hope is an organ and tissue donor network who takes the responsibility of educating people about the need of donating organs and tissues.